Agrigento

Welcome to Agrigento

Up the hill from the dazzling Valley of the Temples, modern Agrigento is not an immediately appealing prospect. Huge elevated motorways converge on a ragged hilltop centre scarred by brutish tower blocks and riddled with choking traffic. However, hidden behind this depressing outer ring is an attractive medieval kernel with some fine accommodation and a lively evening buzz.

Ancient Akragas covers a huge area—much of which is still unexcavated today—but is exemplified by the famous Valle dei Templi (“Valley of the Temples“, a misnomer, as it is a ridge, rather than a valley). This comprises a large sacred area on the south side of the ancient city where seven monumental Greek temples in the Doric style were constructed during the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Now excavated and partially restored, they constitute some of the largest and best-preserved ancient Greek buildings outside of Greece itself. They are listed as a World Heritage Site.

The main thoroughfare running through Agrigento’s medieval core is Via Atenea, an attractive strip lined with smart shops, trattorias and bars. Narrow alleyways wind upwards off the main street, past tightly packed palazzi (mansions) interspersed with historic churches.

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